LONDON, U.K. – October 15, 2008 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel community, today announced the results of its annual travel trends survey of more than 8,000 worldwide travellers and over 450 British travellers. One trend identified is an increase in leisure travel spending, with 56 percent of Brits planning to spend more on leisure travel in the next 12 months than they did in the past 12 months. In addition, 69 percent of those surveyed said the unfavourable exchange rates will not prevent or limit their travel to Europe in the next 12 months.
British travellers are also becoming more “green” with 21 percent more environmentally-conscious in their travel decisions in the upcoming year than the past year.
TripAdvisor has once again unveiled its TravelCast list of emerging hotspots for 2009, and atop the list is Budoni, in Sardinia, Italy, Agia Galini, Crete and Petra, Jordan.
Fifty-two percent of British travellers spent more than they budgeted for leisure travel in the past 12 months. One-quarter (26 percent) of British respondents think the cost of fuel isn't important when choosing where to go on their next holiday and one-third of travellers will take three holidays in the next year.
One quarter of U.K. respondents said they will visit an environmentally-friendly hotel or resort in the coming year, compared to 34 percent of worldwide travellers. Twenty-one percent of British respondents said they would be more environmentally conscious in their travel decisions this year, than they were the year before, compared to 34 percent of worldwide travellers.
Mobiles and Wifi
Ninety percent of British respondents think mobile phones should be banned on flights, compared to just 81 percent of worldwide travellers. Only 46 percent of U.K. travellers want wireless internet access on airlines compared to 62 percent of worldwide travellers. Only nine percent of British travellers are willing to pay extra for it. In the future, 56 percent could imagine airlines charging extra for a window view.
British travellers like their peace. Forty-six percent of would pay extra to sit in a “quiet section” of an airplane compared to 40 percent of worldwide travellers. Nineteen percent would pay 10 percent or more to sit in a quiet section. Seventy-seven percent of U.K. respondents think families with young children should sit in their own section of an airplane compared to 73 percent of worldwide travellers.
The favourite airlines for worldwide respondents are British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air France, but British travellers prefer Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and Emirates. These airlines were the favourites among travellers because of their friendly and helpful staff, comfortable seats and good on-time arrival and departure record. For the third year in a row, the least favourite airline of British travellers is Ryanair, voted by a whopping 30 percent.
The top airports, according to British respondents are Manchester, Singapore Changi International, and Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport. Twenty-three percent said that Heathrow was their least favourite airport followed by London's Gatwick. Seventy-seven percent said that fast/efficient security, followed by great bathrooms is what makes an airport great.
The friendliest travellers according to U.K. respondents are Americans followed by Australians. However, the most annoying travellers according to Brits are also Americans followed by Germans.
A quarter (26 percent) of British travellers are likely to engage in an adventure activity in the next year, five percent are likely to engage in an extreme sports activity. Thirty-five percent are likely to take a garden tour and nearly half (49 percent) of those surveyed will visit a spa. The British are not big skiers, with only
10 percent likely to go skiing/snowboarding.
Twenty-nine percent of travellers keep track of their air miles and five percent will take longer trips to get more air miles. Thirty-five percent of travellers are not part of a frequent flyer program.
Forty-one percent of British travellers have six weeks or more annual holiday time down from 43 percent last year. Sixty-five percent of British travellers think they need six weeks or more. Ten percent of those surveyed said they did not take all of their allotted holiday time, the number one reason because they can't afford to be away from work that much.
More than half (56 percent) of U.K. travellers are likely to go to the theatre in the next year. Eighty-seven percent will visit a historical site, and 16 percent will engage in an educational activity.
Germs While Travelling
Sixty-eight percent of British respondents are concerned about germs, bacteria and viruses when travelling. The British are most concerned about germs while in restaurants (26 percent), follow by airplanes 19 percent, which worldwide travellers identified as the most germy (34 percent).
Sixteen percent of British respondents said they don't think the shoe shiner deserves a tip and luckily for the housekeepers in hotels, 61 percent of respondents think they deserve a tip. The majority of British travellers (64 percent) tip 10 percent on a restaurant bill, while half of the more generous worldwide travellers tip 15 percent or more.
Twenty-nine percent of British travellers said they never check their email on a week or longer holiday, compared to 23 percent of worldwide travellers. Nearly half
(49 percent) check their email once or twice while on holiday. The Brits also think about work less while on holiday, with only 10 percent thinking about work every day, compared to 15 percent of travellers worldwide.
Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said they have had more trouble booking desired flights in the past 12 months, than the previous year. Ten percent said they had a flight cancelled this year because their route or flight was permanently eliminated from their carrier’s schedule. The number one air traveller faux pas according to those surveyed is a child kicking the seat back, according to 36 percent, followed by rude seat recliners (34 percent) and loud talking on mobile phones on flights, 10 percent.
Holiday House Rentals
Thirty-two percent of British travellers surveyed said they holidayed at a rental property in the past year with 36 percent planning to holiday at a rental property in the next 12 months. If given the right opportunity, 34 percent of British travellers would do a holiday “house swap.”
Additional Travel Tidbits (British vs Worldwide Travellers)
• Nineteen percent of British travellers and the same percentage of worldwide travellers have taken items from a hotel, such as towels, silverware, or decorative pieces
• Ten percent of British travellers have stayed at an adults-only or clothing-optional resort compared to 14 percent of travellers worldwide
• Surprisingly, eighty percent of British travellers are comfortable with the new full body scanners used by some airport security compared with 70 percent of worldwide travellers
Budoni, in Sardinia, Italy is TravelCast’s Next Hot Spot in 2009
TripAdvisor™ TravelCast is a barometer of what’s hot in travel destinations. TripAdvisor engineers have developed a proprietary algorithm that looks at several criteria, including changes in search activity and postings throughout the world’s largest travel community. The TravelCast then predicts the rising stars in travel. The top three emerging world hotspots for travel are Budoni, Sardinia, Agia Galini, Crete and Petra, Jordan. The complete world list is provided below.
TripAdvisor TravelCast Top Ten World Destinations for 2009
1. Budoni, Sardinia
2. Agia Galini, Crete
3. Petra, Jordan
4. Ardmore, Ireland
5. Peschiera del Garda, Italy
6. Protaras, Cyprus
7. Torre del Mar, Spain
8. Hanioti, Greece
9. Wadduwa, Sri Lanka
10. Goslar, Germany
“It's surprising that despite the economic climate, British travellers are planning to spend more on leisure travel in the next year than in the past 12 months,” said Luke Fredberg, director of communications, Europe, for TripAdvisor. “Additionally, travellers are getting greener, and plan to be more environmentally-conscious about their travel decisions in the next year.”